Ethics in the workplace is a vast topic and I myself am a student in this area, learning and correcting myself. But I can share a few incidents from my life in this area.
I work in the software industry in an MNC. I started my career as a developer and later at one point of time, I became the team lead. In software development we mainly have two teams, namely development team and testing team. Usually, developers are always under pressure to reduce the number of defects in the code. So, both the developers and testers are like ‘enemies’ – while the developer works on the coding part, this is tested and corrected by the testing team. A developer’s quality is measured by the least number of incidents reported against his code.
Since I am the team lead, I have the back-end access to the code. One day, after I had released my code for testing, I later identified a defect in it. I was sorely tempted to change and correct my code as I had the back-end access. But I quickly realised that it would be unethical on my part and decided not to correct it. I left it for the testers to test and correct it. During one of our casual discussions, the testing team voiced their disappointment that some developers were correcting codes through back-end access, without their knowledge. But the testing team lead added that he was ‘pretty sure that Alexy would not do it, even if he gets a chance’. This incident surprised me and their trust was more than motivating.
One of my responsibilities in my current role is to ensure increased revenue and projects to my organisation and so I keep a very good relationship with my customers. In one of my discussions with a customer he asked me if our team could manage 15 more additional websites. This was good news. When I informed my boss and colleagues about this, they were all delighted as it meant more revenue generation from our team.
During our periodical analysis, we identified some websites that were rarely used, some were not being used at all. I had two options – either inform my customer about these findings or continue with their proposal without informing them, thereby taking money for all the barely-used websites. I was in a dilemma as telling the truth would cut down a huge revenue my company could get. But I prayed and decided to tell the truth to the customer. The customer was surprised to hear this from us and shut down his less-efficient websites. This in turn improved our relationship with that customer. He later began considering us more than before to handle his higher value projects. He even took initiatives at the CEO level to recommend and ensure our company was used for all their future projects. This incident was an eye opener for me. Some lies may give us a short-term benefit, but ultimately it is the truth that triumphs.
Similarly, during the Covid crisis we had to go through multiple lockdowns and it seriously affected our work and delivery of projects. The message every organisation was trying to spread was that project delivery would not be affected in any way. This was actually wrong information as obviously the pandemic was going to delay everything. So I decided to inform my customer regarding the delay that would happen and promised them that we would try our best to deliver on time in future. They appreciated the openness and transparency and we managed the situation in a couple of months’ time.
These are some small incidents from my workplace which helped me to be more faithful and transparent. Because ‘who is my boss?’ is the question I ask myself every time. I believe God is my super boss and I should be very faithful in everything I do.
Article published in Kairos English Magazine – March 2022